Change is the Only Constant
The following was an essay I wrote for my Teachers Certification Program about Goals and reflection.
As teachers, we all want to grow which is why it is important to make professional development goals. Goals help to keep us in check and lead us to self-improvement. As a fairly new educator who is constantly learning and reassessing, I am reestablishing my goals and what it means to be a good educator on a daily basis. To me personally, my teaching philosophy has been and will always be to educate my students on the world of theater while also putting great importance on them as individuals and how together we can create positive change.
It is no shock that I have a lot of opinions, I share them with my peers, with my students, friends, family, basically anyone who will listen. Growing up I always was the outsider, I rarely had friends my own age, I looked at the world in a different way, and viewed my role in the world differently than most. All of these things helped lead me to my love of theater. The theater was the place where I shone, it’s the place I could pretend to be someone else, and most importantly it was a place where I was respected. I spent 20 years of my life studying theater, and I’m not done yet. I know I can always improve in my performances, my auditions, and how I present myself on a day-to-day basis. The same goes for teaching, as an educator we must understand that even though we went to school, got a degree, aced our classes, and so on, does not mean we are done learning. We as teachers, we as people, we as artists must be constantly aware of the change, the only constant thing, and with change comes more learning. I have of course come in contact with teachers who are unwilling to change, but I honestly believe they are doing themselves and their students a disservice. We all must learn from each other, societal boundaries were put on us because they were scared, but boundaries create walls and walls create distance, so we must be willing to collaborate and continue to educate ourselves.
For me personally, throughout my almost 1 year of actually teaching at the college level, and then probably 5 years of teaching in other ways I have certainly learned a lot and changed through the process. One of the goals I would like to accomplish within my career as an educator is getting better at technology. I may be only 30, but technology and I are not the greatest friends. I grew up in a family that spent time together without the use of media as a source of distraction, so I have a pretty strong opinion on technology use in my classroom. However, if this pandemic has taught me anything, it is the importance of technology. As I have taught these past 3 semesters at Broward, I have taught in a hybrid setting, and completely remote setting. I have had to figure out ways to make learning inviting and also somehow still create a collaborative classroom environment where my students feel heard and seen. It definitely comes with its challenges, but I have enjoyed getting more familiar with technology, and how it can actually help me in my classroom. I hope to continue to find out new ways to incorporate technology in my classroom as I move into a physical classroom with my students next semester.
Another goal I have for myself as an educator is to become more politically active. The theater is a world of acceptance, it is a world of imagination, creation, and collaboration. Some theater is even trying to change the way audiences view certain topics. I will share a quick story, I was in a production of La Cage and we had an older white man in the audience who came up to the cast after the show and told us we had educated him about the world of the LGBTQA+ community. That is my own personal belief, that theater can create change, and I have seen it. I have also had the amazing experience of continuing to be educated with my podcast, Cycle Chats. Through theater and my podcast, I have become an extremely political person constantly trying to go out and better the world. I believe good educators are the same, they don’t stand for what came before they want to change, and they want it now. If I can somehow be in a position of greater power, I can create change on another level. It’s a big job, and it isn’t for the faint of heart, but I want to create positive change in the world of education. I want to make sure our schools are filled with teachers who have love and humility in their hearts. As I say to my students we have to be better to do better, and the first step in being better is better education.
I know as a teacher my goals will constantly shift and change as I have different experiences in the classroom. I am not someone who shies away from a challenge, I am someone who constantly wants to learn and evolve and to me, that is what being a good educator is.
Love always your Cycle Half,